Measles is one of the leading causes of death among children around the world. In fact, more than 314 people every day die due to the spread of this highly contagious disease. These are startling global statistics considering the availability of a safe, effective, and affordable vaccine to help prevent the spread of the virus. And sadly, it isn’t the only contagious virus impacting families today.
What can be done to help ensure that families around the world have access to vaccines to keep kids safe? We caught up with the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life team and asked how we can join the fight to defeat measles, rubella, polio, and other diseases.
This summer, the Shot@Life campaign has been rallying grassroots support increase access to lifesaving vaccines from for children who need them the most.
Right now, you can add your voice to those of many other Shot@Life champions by signing a petition in support of greater government investment in measles mortality reduction programs. These are investments that will save children’s lives.
The Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) has helped prevent over 17 million deaths through immunization, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not received a significant increase in funding for measles prevention activities since 2010. Change this trend by showing your support.
The Shot@Life campaign launched a new account on Snapchat to help showcase their community’s latest efforts.
In June, the campaign teamed up with Rotary International, CDC, and Global Poverty Project to host a panel briefing on Capitol Hill to educate key congressional office staff. It was an opportunity for the campaign to highlight the tremendous success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which has trained millions of volunteers and health workers to deliver polio vaccines to children in developing countries around the world.
More than 90 staff attended to hear firsthand accounts from public health experts, including Ann Lee Hussey, a Rotary advisor stricken with polio at a young age. She talked about the opportunities she missed growing up as a child with polio and the barriers she had to overcome her entire life — including dozens of major corrective surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy — to regain the ability to walk.
Watch this video to get an inside view of Shot@Life’s advocacy work this month.
One of the best ways you can help support healthy families is by donating directly to the Shot@Life campaign. Shot@Life works with partners and countries around the world to bring lifesaving vaccines to hard-to-reach communities. They are bringing together community leaders, supporting the distribution of vaccines, and meeting with members of Congress.
“We are closer than ever before to ending polio for good,” says Brian Massa, advocacy manager for the campaign. “Your support will also ensure that these public health assets put in place by the polio program continue to strengthen our efforts to save lives across the globe.” And we also have to give great respect to the brilliant organizations that are developing viral vaccines as they are making such a huge difference globally.
No matter which way you choose to support the eradication of contagious diseases, showing and sharing support goes a long way to help make the world a safer place to live.
Go the extra mile: You can also follow the Shot@Life campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Lead photo of girls in Mozambique holding up their purple pinkies outside of school to show that they have just received their measles vaccination. Photograph by Stuart Ramson, 2011